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…….The World Without Boundaries

A Humbling Encounter with Selflessness

Written By: jipp - Nov• 11•17

So I am back in my hometown Keningau and was having a drink with a friend at a restaurant where he actually worked last night. I couldn’t help but noticing that there was a man who sat crumpled in a wheelchair right in the corner of the small restaurant. He’d look at every passer-by and every now and then he’d look at us who’d break into laughter because there were just too many funny things to talk about.

Then I asked him who the man was. He said he was a man they found at the veranda of a shop a few blocks away from there. He is half-paralyzed and he can’t help himself to just about anything but eating. He can eat and he can use his hands to feed himself but that is just about all that he can do. He needs somebody to help him out when he needs to answer the nature’s call. He needs somebody to help him prepare for his food. He needs somebody to help him to bed. He needs a constant help except when he is asleep.

The owner of the restaurant decided to allocate a space at his restaurant for him to stay in. He even bought him a wheel-chair not only for his own convenience but also for those who take care of him. It is easier for them to wheel him around than having to carry him every time they need to.

I noticed how he had built a partition at one corner of the restaurant. It is fully walled except for the frontage which is draped nicely with slide curtains so that it is easier for him to come in and out of the room which has now become his home. My friend and other workers at the restaurant take turn to attend to his needs. This friend of mine confessed how there are times when he gets quite upset especially when he is too tired and this man demands quite too much of him.

“You know when you have worked your asses off the whole day – running the things around and making sure everything goes smoothly at work and by the end of the day you are so damn tried but this guy still demands quite too much of you, you’ll tend to lose it at times” he said.

“But of course the feeling of guilt would come to me later and I’d apologize to him – every time” he continued.

He told me how they took him in and cared for him totally out of nothing but solely for the fact that he needs people to take care of him.

Still quite in disbelief at the degree of selflessness and how they sacrifice so much of their beings for a stranger, I prodded “does he in any way related to any of you, probably to your boss?”

“Nope. He was a stranger. We found him and decided to take him in and cared for him because he needed it” he replied as if it was the most normal thing to do.

I looked at the room to where he had now retreated and was probably soundly asleep. For a moment I tried to think of all the things that I had done for others, things that I had done out of selflessness. There weren’t much.

I returned home feeling so small and insignificant to the universe.

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